It is very common in our generation to see grownups still struggling to teach their parents how parenting is done. In most cases, the parent being taught did not know good parenting.
Therefore, when the kids become mature and they learn how parenting is done, they want to teach their parents.
In the minds of the mature children, they feel an emptiness because of the poor parenting done to them. Somehow, they assume if they can teach their parents good parenting, the parents will fill the emptiness within them.
The sad news is that approach never works. A student can never teach the master even if the student knows better.
No master is willing to learn from his student or else he stops being a master.
Therefore, if you come from a family where parents are asking you to take up ‘parenting’ roles, you have the right to say NO.
However, if you are okay with spending your life trying to make their family work well, you can. What I want you to know is that we live only once.
We cannot spend our lives fixing our parent’s broken parenting hoping that once it is fixed we will move and start working on our own families.
If our parents failed, that is their problem. Let them carry their own cross. We may wish to help and it may be painful for us watching them regret their parenting styles but that does not mean we have to help them.
We are individuals with our own lives and matters to take care of. Ruining your life to help your parents is a bad trade off.
I read a story of a lady who was taking care of her mom because the lady was afraid of ‘failing’ her mother. When she was asked how long she will take care of her mother before she starts pursuing her own career, she said until her mother dies.
Years later, her mother eventually passed away. At that time, she was already 60 years old. That is when she realized her life was over and all the dreams she had could no longer be achieved.
The death of her mom did not help her at all. She became a slave for life and wasted her only chance of living.
Helping out a parent is not a problem. The condition is help them if you are sure it will not waste your own life. Imagine what the mother of that lady would say if she saw her daughter at 60, not married, no kids, no career, no friends just because of her.
Obviously, she will regret having let her daughter waste her life. If the mother knew that the result of her daughter helping her would be that bad, she would have rejected the help.
I wrote an article about The Power of Anticipating and How you can Use it to your Advantage. I wish that lady would come across such an article before committing to help her mother.
Asking yourself simple questions like for how long will I be doing this is the beginning of wise thinking.
And wise thinking helps you make wise decisions of which you will reap rewards later.
The Other Approach
For other children and for you who is reading this article, you have a chance to take the second approach that seems evil and brutal at first.
Imagine leaving your parents against their will. They may even beg you to stay and support them but you painfully ignore their pleas and proceed with your plan.
After years of absence, you manage to establish yourself and your family. You do good parenting and have a lovely family.
Even if your parents may not be alive by then, it won’t be as painful as the girl who wasted her life helping her mother. You may regret never spending enough time with your parents but at least you have a family to comfort you.
The Unfortunate Situation with Parents
As much as everyone wishes to have a good relationship with his parents, time comes when that is no longer possible. Naturally, the relationship with parents becomes toxic.
Nature intends that once a parent has brought up a child to a level that the child can take care of himself, he is to leave and build his own life. Therefore, as a way of telling both the parent and the child that time has come for them to part ways, nature makes their relationship toxic.
However, the toxicity of the relationship becomes less if the parent and the child keep a safe distance between them. Grown up children have so many arguments with their parents if they live together.
It is hard for two grownups to live under one roof unless they are ‘married’. In a case where the child is a ‘slave’ of the parent, peace can prevail for a while. But eventually, nature will cause the child to rebel at some point and force his way out.
Therefore, if you find your stay with your parents becoming unbearable, consider parting ways. It is a stage in life that we cannot avoid.
Wise Parents and Wise Children
Wise parents know when to release their children from home. No specific age is ‘right’ to release a child but there is the common age bracket to do that. Anywhere between 18 and 21 years is good.
Releasing a child earlier than that may be termed irresponsible parenting and delaying past that period may result in helicopter parenting.
However, each family’s case is unique. If you can have a fulfilling agreement with your children concerning leaving home, that is good.
For children who are wise, when they get to that age bracket of leaving home, they start planning their departure. If the parents do not release them, they can easily force their way out to avoid future regrets.
Life is a battle. You cannot sit back and hope that things work out well for you.
If you are unlucky to have irresponsible parents, don’t waste time regretting having them as your parents.
Plan how you will survive. Their time will soon be up and you will have the world to conquer on your own. Waiting for parents to do one, two for you before you go may not be a wise decision.
When a child is born, the doctors do not ask whether to cut the umbilical cord or not. They cut it immediately because the child and the mother must be separated.
Unfortunately, the doctor responsible for cutting the umbilical cord later on in life is often times way too lenient. He begs, nags, and pleads before cutting the cord. The truth is cutting the umbilical cord is painful both for the mother and the child.
But trying to avoid the pain of cutting ties often results in a catastrophe. That is the sad reality of life.
No child has a role of teaching her parents how parenting is done. Any kind of parenting skills you gain are to be used to help your children. Likewise, don’t expect your children to teach you how to parent them.
Learn about good parenting in advance so that you don’t repeat the very mistakes your parents made on you. Be the one to end the cycle of poor parenting.